My name is Jodie. I am a senior advertising major at the University of Texas at Austin, and recently completed a summer internship with RSW. I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to RSW’s social media, work on one of their largest accounts, and more. I have learned so much about business and work through the summer. Five things in particular stand out to me.
1 – The benefits deadlines provide to the writing process.
When given a deadline for my first RSW blog post, time seemed to evaporate. When asked to write a blog about mindfulness on Monday, which was due Wednesday, I jumped into extensive research, per my normal process. With more than ten tabs open in my browser, I quickly realized my strategy needed to be adjusted in order to be able to make the deadline. Instead of creating a formal outline, I created a structure for the blog and immediately began writing within that structure. I learned to cut out unnecessary steps, and adapted my approach into a quicker, more efficient process, without sacrificing quality.
2 – Hands on experience with agency clients.
I was able to participate in several agency strategy meetings, including one with Baylor Scott & White Health for their annual benefits enrollment campaign. We brainstormed with the client and asked questions, which provided valuable direction for the team. I was able to see how the agency works with the client to develop the best approach to solving a challenge, and how that translates to the creative process. School has made me familiar with the agency-client communication process, but experiencing this first hand brought greater insight into the complexities of that relationship.
3 – I learned about the importance of employee recognition.
As part of my internship, I was able to be a part of one of RSW’s largest annual projects, Catch Me at My Best. From June though August, employees from across Hilton can recognize each other by filling out a card and sharing a story. Almost 2 million employees were recognized in 2017. I was in charge of reviewing, proofing, and approving many of the stories, and publishing them on the website. Reading the kind words was inspirational and showed me the importance of recognition. It was an amazing way for me to start every day. Since it was a global program, I was also exposed to how recognition motivates employees around the world, regardless of location.
4 – Being a part of the office dynamic and working on multiple projects.
Learning about the agency business in school is one thing. Being immersed in the day-to-day reality of office life and culture was another. It was eye opening, and quite a unique experience. I floated throughout the summer, working with multiple Team Members at different times and on different projects. It was a busy summer, working on diverse clients like Hilton, HP, Baylor Scott & White Health, and more. I was able to assist in copywriting, research, and project management. The opportunity to be a part of the process and to work on different projects and sectors was exciting, and gave me a deeper understanding of agency-client relationships and the advertising industry as a whole, better preparing me for my future career.
5 – The importance of sharing ideas — and honest feedback.
Sharing your ideas can often be difficult, leaving you vulnerable and exposed. What if they don’t like my idea? In one of the first meetings I attended, I remember being worried and anxious about sharing my ideas. I finally presented my thoughts, and we casually discussed my ideas along with other ideas at length. I was encouraged to speak up more, and I realized that in this industry it’s important to put your ideas out there to succeed, but also to give the client the best possible idea. Sharing my idea allowed others to build off of it and combine their ideas with mine, creating a better end product. Holding back only hurts the process — and professional growth.
This internship gave me so much more than I expected it would. I am excited to go into my senior year, and beyond, with an edge from the knowledge I have gained this summer.